In our Raleigh, NC office lobby, we have what we call The Open Gallery, which features a rotating series of exhibits for associates, visitors, and the local community. Installations are chosen for their relevance to openness, collaboration, and community—all hallmarks of our open source roots. We work with different organizations and artist collectives in Raleigh to bring new artwork to the public about every 6 months.
For this rotation, we worked with Come Out & Show Them—a collaborative organization based in North Carolina that has focused on education about women’s healthcare, transgender rights, cultural access in North Carolina and, voting rights. In 2017, the organization has turned its attention to immigration, deportation, and sanctuary through its “Welcome to Raleigh, Y’all” project.
In conjunction with the “Welcome to Raleigh, Y’all” installation, we interviewed a few Red Hatters who have immigrated from other countries and now live in Raleigh. We asked how they felt coming into work every day and seeing the welcoming message, and how it feels to see yard signs and stickers carrying this message across the city. The consensus was that it makes them feel safe and at home here in Raleigh, and it provides a sense of comfort seeing their native language across the city they now call home.
Red Hatters who shared include:
“Over the past 4 years at Red Hat, I have gotten to work with people from all over the world—including Ukraine. I even speak Russian on a regular basis with my coworkers. Seeing the welcome signs around Raleigh makes me realize that I don’t have to live in Brighton Beach to feel like I belong.”
Whitney Zheng, China | data science engineer
“Under the current political and cultural environment, this inclusive message and positivity seems even more relevant to us than ever. Not only local businesses but households, too, are actively taking part in this movement. I feel at ease to call North Carolina my home away from home whenever I see the ‘Welcome to Raleigh, Y’all’ signs.”
Lee Davidson, China | senior software application engineer
“When I see characters from my home in the workplace it makes me feel included and welcomed.”
Astrid Sharpe, Mexico | people infrastructure operations coordinator
“The ‘Welcome to Raleigh, Y’all’ message unifies people and transmits southern hospitality and inclusion; it feels great to see it every day in the workplace.”
Kedar Vijay Kulkarni, India | software engineer
“When I saw ‘The Welcome to Raleigh Y’all’ message welcome me in my language, I felt that Raleigh and Red Hat truly values diversity and inclusion.”